The Houston Rockets are buying into George Karl’s philosophy that you don’t need a superstar to win. So far, I don’t have many complaints. Can we be better? Definitely, but with the team we have right now, you can’t ask for much more, but you can expect more of the same. The Rockets are made up of players who just want to win. Nobody is selfish. Nobody always wants the ball. Nobody is forcing his way into the game. The starters by now know that if they’re off, they have a bench to back them up. Kevin Martin, who probably has the most reason to be frustrated with his playing time, doesn’t even care about it as long as the team is winning. “I don’t care if I play 1 minute, as long as we win,” Martin said. McHale finally has this team buying into the TEAM philosophy and it’s working out quite well.
Let’s take a look at the first half of the season. The Rockets started the season going 3-7 in their first 10 games, and at this point, nobody was really surprised. People were saying to tank the season, get the high draft pick, and start rebuilding. From that point on the Rockets are 17-7, and hanging right there with the Western Conference elite. The defending champion Mavs are only 1 game ahead of Houston, and the division lead, currently held by the Spurs thanks to their 11 game win streak, is within 3.5 games. Even the Kobe-led Lakers only have a .5-game lead over Houston, and if they lose to the conference leading Thunder tonight, Houston and LA will go into All-Star Weekend with the SAME RECORD at 20-14. (Yes, you read that right.) OKC (a team the Rockets are 1-2 against, including 2 EXTREMELY close games) seems to be running away in the West as of now, but everything else is up for grabs in this crazy Western Conference.
With the All-Star play of Kyle Lowry (15ppg, 7apg, 5rpg, 2spg, a block almost every other game), scoring of Kmart, Chandler Parsons beginning to channel his inner Shane Battier (consistent, good defense, and a clutch 3 last night), Luis Scola being as reliable as ever, Dalembert patrolling the paint, and a bench that seems to be coached by the energizer bunny, the sky is the limit for this Rockets team. The Rockets enter this year’s All-Star Break on a 3 game win streak, winning 7 of their last 10, and at a season high 6 games above .500. Watch out league, Rockets are coming for you in the second half.
Side Note: Watch for Chandler Parsons in the Shooting Stars competition over All-Star Weekend, and Chase Budinger in the Slam Dunk Contest. Looks like he’s got some tricks up his sleeve!
About the Author
Written by Mohsin Ghesani
Huge sports fan! More specifically, huge HOUSTON sports fan. Love the Rockets and Texans!